Friday 2 April 2021

Return to the Hills Again: Meall a'Bhuachaille Again


Today the second pandemic lockdown was eased, the 'stay at home' message changed to 'stay local', which means in your local authority region. As mine is Highland masses of hills are now within reach. As I said in my Lockdown In The Snow post in January I decided that as I could walk from home in woods and fields and on lower hills I couldn't justify going afield. In the last three months only twice have I walked from the car, once beside the River Spey on a shopping trip to Grantown-on-Spey and on the hills above Aviemore on a similar trip.

With the change in the regulations I decided to end my absence from bigger hills on Meall a'Bhuachaille, just as I had when the first lockdown ended last July. I celebrated this in a post called A Glorious Return To The Hills On Meall a'Bhuachaille, as the weather was superb. The forecast was for clear and sunny skies this time as well. It wasn't to be. The sky stayed resolutely cloudy. Above the trees the east wind was cold. The high Cairngorms came and went in the cloud. My stay on the summit was brief - a quick snack, some hot ginger cordial, and it was time to descend back into the forest. 

Rather than take the usual path I descended directly down towards Glenmore. Soon the first little pines appeared, the regenerating forest climbing back up the hills, then I was amongst the bigger trees, ancient sentinels standing guard over their your offspring. Seeing this is always invigorating and inspiring, whatever the weather. New trees, new life. A whirring of wings and a capercaillie sailed low through the trees, big and bulbous. This world was still glorious, sun or no sun.

Photographic note: the light being flat and the weather dull I never got out my camera. The images here were all taken with my phone.

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